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Depth keys LO girls tennis team

Lake Oswego girls tennis coach Susan Branam knew this year's team would be strong but she was pleasantly surprised at tryouts this year.

"We have a ton of young kids who come in with experience. We have four freshmen on the varsity squad," Branam said.

Lake Oswego is loaded with depth, featuring a JV team this year that could probably compete with many schools' varsity squads.

At No. 1 singles this year is Erinna O'Brien, moving back over to singles after playing doubles last season.

"I think that experience helped her singles game. She's a very strong player" Branam said.

Senior Heather Aholt, a four-year varsity player, is back at No. 2 singles while another returner, Blair Dozois, fills in at No. 3.

A talented freshman is currently slotted in at No. 4 singles in Claire Murphy.

"Really on any given day any one of those kids could beat another one. There's a lot of competition," Branam said.

Doubles is also very strong this year although a set line-up has yet to be determined.

"Right now we're just seeing who complements one another," Branam said.

Kate Wardrop and Abby Meier and both senior doubles players with plenty of varsity experience, along with Sydney Paine who Branam said put in a lot of work in the offseason.

Juniors Sophia Liu and Jane Zahniser are also very solid doubles players.

And the team has a handful of young players who will also make a big impact on varsity this season.

"Our depth is tough to figure out sometimes. It's a great problem to have but it can be tough on some of our JV kids because you can only play so many girls," Branam said.

The Lakers should be one of the teams to beat in the Three Rivers League again this year with both West Linn and Lakeridge fielding strong teams as well.

Newcomers to the league in Grant and Canby will also play a factor. But the ultimate goal of the season will be to send as many players to state as possible.

The Lakers have been unable to get in any preseason matches but are scheduled to host Clackamas on Friday.

The team will also play in the Jesuit Invitation, which is held indoors, on April 8.